In the morning I wrote my 1,000 words after breakfast, then read a few more chapters in Catch-22. Man, that book is convoluted; I think it’s a good re-read, especially considering that my current project is somewhat non-linear too.It crossed my mind, as I was in the kayak, that Peace and Jacob’s Ladder will also have interesting things to say to me, as I write this tale. But I think I’ll wait till the first draft is done.
After lunch I went to the coffee shop to post yesterday’s missive, then—since the weather was, if anything, more lovely than yesterday—I took the kayak out onto the lake again. As I was returning, I checked my distance, and found I’d gone 4.31 km. I decided that another quick pass by the public beach/floating play structure and back should easily add another 0.69 km, and I was right—my final distance as I beached my craft was just over 5 km. I can live with that.
I read a bit more, had supper—the last of the burgers I barbecued, which leaves only 6.02×10²³ smokies, cool cool cool. And now I’m about to start writing, with a glass of iced coffeeMade from the dregs of my morning coffee, poured into a glass and stored in the fridge, where it developed a thin skin of ice. beside me.
The sky was cloudless after dark, so I packed my gear and headed north for a few kilometers. I found a nice dark spot on a side road just before the entry to the river valley, and shot some photos of the Milky Way again.
She walked toward the lake. Her sandals filled with sand, fine and soft as talc, annoying her. She took the sandals off and carried them, looping their straps over her middle and index fingers and crooking her hand into a loose fist at her side. The sandals’ heels thumped her thigh softly with every step, which was a different kind of annoying.
At the edge of the water the sand darkened, not because it was wet, she saw, but because words had snagged in it, lay flat on it: water-coloured sans-serif letters overlapping in senseless profusion. A million thes and as and saids in blue and aquamarine and smoke grey were scattered as far as she could see, and tens of thousands of words less common—less invisible as one of her editors had put it—were layered below and above, freshly deposited or soaking into the sand, darkening, disappearing: birth, house, joy, sparrow, rose, formidable. Soft wavelets made of bluish words capped with small white wordcaps dropped new words as she watched, the white foam of window whirl bribe fading, darkening, becoming part of the great smear of words.
She set her sandals down where the sand was still heartbreakingly bright, where the waves hadn’t come in and crested and crashed only to recede. Where the paper was still unblemished, the page still holy and blank. She walked into the water; no, the lake of words.
Water isn’t wet, she remembered someone telling her, after someone else had made the “water wet, fire hot, sky blue” joke at some TV report about a new discovery that was painfully obvious if you just applied common sense. Water makes other things wet, but wetness, he told her, jabbing a finger to make his point stick (and it must have worked, because here she was thinking about it) is not an intrinsic property of the water itself.
The words touched her and did not feel wet, did not wet her ankles or (as she progressed) her calves. They clung to her as water would, molding themselves against her shapes. She felt transom and forget and peace against the backs of her knees, in amid the whirling yeses and saids and thes. She walked further, deeper. Her skirt didn’t cling against her as it would in water, but the words crowded onto its dark fabric too. The tail of her blouse was decorated with now and together, dried and he.
She took a breath and ducked under the surface.
Series: Writing Retreat 2022The entire series: Writing Retreat 2022: Goals; Writing Retreat 2022: Monday; Writing Retreat 2022: Tuesday; Writing Retreat 2022: Wednesday; Writing Retreat 2022: Thursday; Writing Retreat 2022: Friday; Writing Retreat 2022: Wrap-up.
Interested in prints of my photos? Let me know, and we can work something out.
|↑1||It crossed my mind, as I was in the kayak, that Peace and Jacob’s Ladder will also have interesting things to say to me, as I write this tale. But I think I’ll wait till the first draft is done.|
|↑2||Made from the dregs of my morning coffee, poured into a glass and stored in the fridge, where it developed a thin skin of ice.|